My Hero Academia 203-207 – Manga Review
Synopsis: Izuku Midoriya has wanted to be a hero all his life. He lives in a world where people are born innately with quirks, and if so chose, can go down the path of becoming a hero, choosing to fight those who would use their birth given abilities for evil rather than good. It’s a difficult path for anyone, but near impossible for Izuku, who was born quirkless, without any innate powers of his own. He’s mocked by his classmates, who rudely nickname him Deku, but Izuku holds onto his dream no matter what.
Izuku’s life is forever changed however, when he has a fated encounter with All Might, the mightiest super hero of them all. Through this encounter, Izuku finds his path towards becoming a super hero, a path not easy by any means.
Warning: Spoilers to Follow:
Now, having fought several villains seeking to defeat All Might, and learned to properly control his quirk, Midoriya and the rest of his class became targets by the league of villains, culminating in a battle against All Might’s nemesis, All for One. All Might managed to defeat this great evil, but at the cost of his powers, now no longer able to act as the symbol of peace. Shortly after Midoriya has a vision, where he sees the past wielders of All for One, and talk of an oncoming “singularity”. Before he can achieve greater understanding Midoriya and Class A are pitted against rival Class B in a team face off to see who has improved the most over the last few months.
This will be a short review as the truth of the matter is I have very little to say about these chapters: They’re great. We continue the Team battle arc with Todoroki’s match up, and the start of Bakugo’s go at Team B, and everything is as solid as it’s been this entire run. The action is great, save for what I feel is a slightly confusing sequence of panels at the end of Chapter 207. We see lots of twists and turns as Class B counters Class A’s abilities and vice versa. Horikoshi also never lets things slow down for too long, keeping what few flashbacks we have to no more than a couple pages, allowing the present day battle to take center stage.
My few complaints stem from Bakugo’s efforts in Chapter 207 and Endeavor usage in Chapter 203. Bakugo is one of the series’ most popular characters, having beaten out Midoriya for the top spot among fans (Heck Midoriya is even losing to Todoroki now.) Personally I’ve never quite understood the appeal. Bakugo is a loud, obnoxious and kinda reprehensible character in my view. I’ve applauded Horikoshi for not turning him into another Sasuke type character, but ultimately I struggle to understand Bakugo’s wider appeal.
That said my issue with Bakugo isn’t so much from his innate character, but rather that Horikoshi seems to be setting Bakugo up for a win, despite his lack of teamwork and leadership skills. By 207’s end Bakugo is effectively turning the tide of battle all by himself. I only bring it up due to the lack of things to critique in these chapters, and we’ll find out in the next couple issues whether Bakugo is rewarded for his attitude, or crashes and burns for it. It’s really a discussion for next time and if the writing remains as strong as it has been, they’ll be a twist that stands in the way of Bakugo’s victory.
More disappointing is Endeavor’s use as a gag character in Chapter 203. Endeavor’s history of abuse makes him a tough character to love, though his efforts to repent for his ways give him a good redemption arc, potentially anyway. Here Endeavor tries to call Todoroki to offer him advice on how to craft a super ability. When Todoroki doesn’t pick up we turn his attempts to contact his son into a gag. That makes me a little uncomfortable seeing as Endeavor is such a dark character, having abused Todoroki significantly as a child, as well as other members of the family. To try and transition him into a goof here or there feels like Horikoshi really isn’t taking the weight of that storyline seriously. Again though, I’m criticizing a single page out of five whole chapters. In the grand scheme of things this is a very minor moment.
Ultimately Chapters 203-207 are top form for Horikoshi and the series as a whole. This arc is turning out very strong and I think showcases how much Horikoshi’s writing has improved from the start of the series. Not that My Hero Academia has ever had major problems, but what’s here really is so close to perfect that I have very little to say. Here’s hoping the next set of chapters is as equally impressive. (I’d love it if I have to write less paragraphs for every review.)
That’s it for today. Please let me know what your thoughts are on these chapters in the comments below!
My Hero Academia is published weekly in Shonen Jump. Volume 15 released on October 2nd, 2018. Chapters discussed today will be collected and released sometime next year (or maybe even next next year?)